Events Conducted in 2017

Events Conducted in 2017

 

Walk conducted in Bangalore :

 

Gender Sensitisation workshops with Tech groups:

Hackathon by Editors Lab

Inclusive Technologies: ‘Gender Sensitisation’ workshop with FSMK students in Mangalore

BroC0de: Gender and Technology Workshop at HasGeek

Code of Conduct talks to make technology spaces more inclusive for all

Gender and Tech with Open Source Community

Gender focussed Tech Solutions

Workshops with Young People:

 

Women’s Health and The City

Does anyone ask for young people’s consent?

Logical Indian and Gender Talk

Radio:

Launching Radio Show on Sexual and Reproductive Health

International Conferences :

Unleash Lab 2017, Denmark : SDGs

APCRSHR9: Asia Pacific coming together to discuss Sexual and Reproductive health?

National Conferences, Workshops, Hackathons :

Stories and Safe spaces in our work: SAHR

Whose baby? Women, Men and Contraception

How does a sexual offender look?

I remember reading this tweet during the #MeToo campaign, a campaign about sharing stories of survivors of sexual violence.

Zara Larsson‏Verified account @zaralarsson
“Isn’t it strange how every woman knows someone who’s been sexually harassed but no man seem to know any harasser?”

In my head I did know sexual offenders, atleast I had an idea about them and how to keep some people safe. It was discomforting and at the same time made me realise how we all have an image of a sexual offender. The abstract person who might exist in some other part of the world, but not inner personal lives.

I recently attended a workshop by Enfold India Trust by Donald Findlater who has been working with Lucy Foundation, UK on combating Child Sexual Abuse. He has worked as Probation officer with Adult Sexual Offenders on Assessment and Treatment of male Sex Offenders.

He has been focussing about the “changing nature of sexual violence”. There is a lot of focus on Child Sexual Exploitation but not really enough conversations on Child Sexual Abuse with former discussing about strangers and latter focusing on known people. Data does prove that most of the offenders are known to young people. In all of these conversations, the prevention aspects have not really received its fair share deal of focus. There is so much focus on criminizalistion aspect of it, but there does not seem to be conversations around how to keep premises and young people safe.

Some of the myths are that the perpetrator is a stranger, when in fact it is usually someone you know well and that it can’t happen to our children. Offenders could be family, friends, religious leaders or people who are part of the household.

The knee jerk reaction to any reporting of Child Sexual Abuse in India is setting up of CCTV cameras and sex offenders registry. Donald Findlater shared some of the experiences of United Kingdom where some of the programmes had been more successful that setting up of CCTV cameras.

a) Running of Helpline: Running a helpline with  a service structure in place to address the concerns. Stopitnow.org is running a helpline for adults in the UK to ensure that those people who are troubled by their sexual thoughts about young children can seek help. The program is confidential and ensures that no one seeking assistance is arrested. We hope to stop the adult before he or she abuses a child.

b) The UK has a closed sexual offenders registry where only authorities have access which basically means only people who have been convicted of the crime fall in the list. That appears to have worked far more effectively in comparison to US Sexual offenders registry which has open registry.

He also emphasised on the myth that sex offenders can’t stop. In his experience it was possible to get help and treatment and it is possible to restrain actions.

In his experience a lot of work needed to be done with the communities. There is a need for stronger community bonds with young people and lot more open conversations with young people around sexuality. In the current stream of information on internet, young people were at risk as well as advantage of meeting different people in different set ups. Young people in schools, young people in public places and young people in internet spaces were the different groups that one needed to engage with.

Mr. Findlater did focus on the aspect that most of the young people take time to come out and share their experiences of abuse. A lot of them get abused by the age of 10 years and most of them have very limited understanding around sexuality. It would be more healthy if they had trusted set of people in their lives to have conversations with, which would help them understand the changes happening in their lives. Schools had to become that space which emphasised the need for comprehensive sexuality education.

Schools instead of focusing on CCTVs and waiting for the incident happen, they can ensure that most of their spaces are designed in such a way that young people feel comfortable accessing them. There are no parts of the compounds which are secluded from rest of the space. Every person working within an institution has been trained around sexuality and has been clearly guided through child protection policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast: Photo Essay Workshop with young girls living with HIV

What is the best way of engaging with your participants? Do you want some innovative ideas?  Listen to some insights from the first photo essay workshop conducted by Team Hidden Pockets with girls living with HIV.  This brief podcast will help you delve into the lives of young girls living with HIV; and understand how something as simple as clicking pictures can create a sense of accomplishment and ownership for them.  Knowing how to best engage with your participants is an art. Learn just that through this captivating podcast.

 

Will you listen to a young person’s story?

“Hidden Pockets presents Pocketshala”
When these words were played on the speakers our hearts were on the seventh cloud because our work of months and imagining of creating a support tool to talk about issues has finally come true. Talking to young people about things has always been a difficult task. The attention span of young people is short, one moment they are listening to you and the very next moment they will move on to next interesting issue around, creating things which will keep their interest intact in the issues is very difficult. A young person tends to ignore heavy or boring sessions.

It is very important to understand that young participants usually tend to take time to understand issues such as bullying, body shaming, health and hygiene etc. As a facilitator we have to keep adding new tools in our handbag to inform young kids.

 

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One way which has always worked with children has been the art of storytelling. Since our childhood grandparents have been using the art of telling stories. The art from the past, in our modern world has taken the form of  podcast. Creating stories based on issues such as mensuration, bullying, health and hygiene, relationship etc. has given us a space to start the conversation. In the workshop at Deepalaya we started our session with the first podcast on bullying which has a lead protagonist named Rahul who is being bullied by some kids at school and how his friend Neha helps him out. When the podcast was being played silence was there, which was telling us that there is surely a Rahul in the schools of these kids. Many kids had difficulty in understanding that bullying is not just  physical violence but it also can be when a specific kid is being targeted because of his appearance.  For many of them calling each other names about their skin, height, weight or facial features was a normal thing but at the end of the session they were able to relate to Rahul’s feelings of being bullied and methods to prevent this to happen any further.

It is a well-known fact that when we listen to a story we tend to remember it. The idea behind making podcast in a story telling manner is to create such stories which will remain in children’s minds. The first workshop also created a taboo discussion on urinating in public where two young boys were not able to understand that why urinating in public is a privilege given to male gender and for females this is not the case. On the other spectrum girls at the session have consensus on that if some men urinate in public it has always made them uncomfortable. A lot of questions were also raised such as why children themselves do not clean the toilets at their home though they are the one using them. The discussion was obviously was intense for young children but our aim was just to make them think through the process of being open minded.

 

With a lot of questions being raised and discussed many children were able to give solutions as well as especially when it came to tackle bullying. Initially children had the idea that if anything happens they should always call the police first as they were never exposed to any other option to resolve such a sensitive matter. Just like in the podcast where Neha goes to the teacher and ask for help who is the immediate authority they also agreed that going to a teacher is a best option to stop bullying or taking a stand for the person being bullied.

Towards the end of the workshop, there was discussion on health services programme in schools  and they were quick to address that most of them had a health room in their schools but were clueless regarding usage of it. They were also not aware of the government’s policy on adolescent health programme where they could go to hospitals and access health services.

The workshop which was conducted with the help of audio podcasts is a helpful way to tackle usual challenges a facilitator face in  workshop with young participants. Hence it could be a way to start a conversation or break the ice of awkwardness when it comes to talking about serious issues with young accomplices.  The whole idea to create these audio recordings was to make sure that our message will remain in their minds and whenever they face such issues they should be fully aware of their options.

 

About the Author : Jitender N Bhardwaj is a nomadic traveler who often enjoys long walks in untraditional parts of a city. He as been associated with Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights field since 2014 and loves talking about sexuality and pleasure.

PS: The audio podcasts were created along with Painted Tree Pictures, with the help of Women Deliver.